Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Luke and I saw Sam open a concert at the Orange Peel with an acapella version of this.  True artist and fantastic ear!

A friendly thought

Today I am sharing a quote from The Rhythm of the Family by Amanda Blake Soule and Stephen Soule. I hope you enjoy!

The reality is that none of us are superheroes, and that incorporating creativity, slow and mindful living, and seasonal celebration into our daily lives takes practice.  The most important piece in crafting the life I want has been choosing carefully what I say yes to.  We must say yes to the chances that excite us, yes the the things that bring us closer to our family, the earth, and each other.  Yes to art and nature walks and reading stories.  Yes to the important things--whatever we deem those to be.

On the flip side of that is recognizing the importance of saying no to those things that do not bring us closer to the kind of life we want to be living.  The specifics of what that might be certainly vary from person to person.  For some it might mean letting go of the television, for some it might mean saying goodbye to just one more committee we are on or resisting those new pair of shoes. But the important thing is that we are questioning and evaluating the choices we make in our daily life.  The choices that either do no do not allow us room for the kind of connection, growth, and exploration that we want for ourselves and our families.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What is that smell?

My dear sweet Annabel had her eighteen month appointment today.  FOUR shots.  She took them like a trooper and played hard all afternoon.  There is no slowing that girl down.  AND I swear, to the ears of a mom, she was singing Happy Birthday all day!

BUT...when I got in the car this morning.  I smelled it.  The smell every parent knows but pretends to not know so that maybe somehow s/he won't have to deal with it.  A sippy cup of MILK gone so sour it leaked.  Therefore, I pulled apart my car finding, six pairs of Laine's socks, a missing favorite t-shirt of Luke's, a Thomas DVD SET (score one for the road trip), an apple, what I assume might have been a peach at one time, five pairs of Annabel's shoes, and a leaking, stinking sippy cup (don't give me a sippy cup, I don't need a sippy cup...anyone?).  Oh my...briefly thought about selling the car, but I mommied up and cleaned the carpet, the car seats (what the heck), and, along with Mrs Barbara, got that Adventure Van looking truly awesome.

Most exciting part?  Three car seats are snugly strapped in my van!  Can you tell I am excited about this baby?  Nine months ago, I was pretty upset to find out my body had been hijacked again, but now I am more peaceful and confident about this little one than I remember being for my older two.  I was so nervous about being a mom and giving birth that Laine came with some real fear.  Annabel was born into the clamor of an impending move that was making momma crazy and nervous.  But this one, this one is my Advent baby.  My little in breaking of the Kingdom of Light.  No planning, no trying--just a gift.  A gift I would dearly love to hold and name!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


You know those moments when you feel like you are all alone.  I am never actually alone or emotionally alone, but you know those moments.  Like when you are 39 weeks pregnant and your three year old decides that he has definite opinions about whether or not you are allowed to have the screen door versus the glass door (he wanted the glass I wanted the screen--I opened a window).

Well, one of the joys of being part of a church family is that even though I am new here, I have a community to support me.  Enter Mrs Barbara.  Our dear friend.  Joy of my children.  She played with my kids all afternoon while I scrubbed my fridge and ran to the grocery store (ALONE).

When I signed the form saying that I would support my husband's itineracy, I had this vague notion that it would mean moving around.  But I didn't understand the temptation to give into feeling dislocated.  There are days that I would love to wallow in my "alone"-ness, but the truth is that I am not alone.  The Kingdom of God is present in our world, and if we allow God to break into our selfish moments, we will see the greater truth: that God is a gracious, good God who longs for his children to embrace God and each other.

Who do you see who needs to have the Kingdom break in on their life?

Nothing so sweet as sheets drying on the line.  Except playing peekaboo in those sheets!

Soaking up the sun.  They were there two seconds before...

There is a reason we call these pillows the "sillies."

Ok...I am nesting...but is was gross.  To be fair, I started labeling the fridge months ago. (The day before I found out I was pregnant...hmmm)

And my fairy godmother bestowed a hidden gift upon me for my trouble.  I found it in the bottom of the would have thought I had found a million dollars.


I might be nesting.  I thought about denying it, but yesterday I vacuumed three times, hung a picture, and made my bed.  Why does this instinct kick in so late?  I would argue that this particular aspect of hormonal life could be way more useful a little before the waddle kicks in.

Also, please lift Laine up in your thoughts and prayers.  He is really worried about me.  I have assured him that I will be fine, but he is a tender little guy and is having trouble coping.  Not surprisingly, Annabel is fine.

Hope your home is as sunny as mine is this morning.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Count down to being ready...for whenever I need to be ready.

  • Wash...done
  • Drying...almost done
  • Folding...half way done
  • Car seat...cleaned
  • Bag...not packed (what do I really need...this is trip number three...TOOTHBRUSH)
  • Hens/goats...fed, digs clean
  • Ice cream...Bear Claw Denali in the freezer
  • Children...loved to pieces
  • Baby room...currently housing a sleeping preschooler, but that's how we roll around here 

Ok off to fold.  Hurray for husbands who help and new babies!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fiber and Fleece Heaven

I have never been to a fiber festival.  My husband took me to the Southeast Fiber Festival today.  My camera was left on the mantle where I keep it close at hand, but if you can imagine a basketball arena full of yarn, fleece, roving, spinning wheels, and every manner of fluff.  I literally could have walked around that arena until I went into labor, but the rest of my family was a smidgen underwhelmed.  Annabel would have been thrilled if she had been allowed to play, Laine was excited to pet the sheep (EEP!! So (still) in love with sheep), and Luke was ready to corner someone and talk shop.  Let's just say, I will now pay attention to fiber festivals.

Got a few happy balls of roving for me.  Trying out Romney and Finn (I sound pretty knowledgeable don't I).

And then there is this.  I have been secretly wanting, no longing for a lamb skin for the baby.  (If you are put off by that, I apologize)  Luke found the most beautiful lamb skin in the room.  It is from Rising Meadow Farm in Liberty, NC.  We went to a shearing there in 2009 and I was struck by the sense of community and joy at their farm, so I feel thoroughly happy all around that my new joy will rest on a joyfully, gently raised nest.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Today is one of those cool, clear days that make fall my favorite time of the year.  I certainly miss the peaches (so good this year), fresh green beans and sitting under the pecan tree feeling lazy (you still can, but your bum bum gets chilly), but somehow the settling in of fall is calming and just--right.   This morning as I, slowly, went about my morning chores, I noticed how thick the crimson clover is getting.  It made me realize that we are really doing it!  Our first real garden was a reality.  It might not have been a perfect success, but it was a garden.  I did manage to feed my family fresh vegetables and we have fresh eggs.  Now the garden is resting preparing for the burden of next year's crop.  As the chickens do their thing in the tractor (amazingly well I might add...loving those ladies) and the clover restores the tired soil, I too am resting.  I am not feeling too smug about this decision because it is a bit forced (how can I be utterly exhausted from writing two bills and filing six pieces of paper?), but I am concentrating on dwelling in my time.  I am so excited about meeting this new face that it would be easy to get distracted by counting minutes, but I need this time.  Just like my little garden needs to be replenished, I must take advantage of this time to be replenished.

Luke has been reading Worship Architect  at night and I get a pretty thorough synopsis of each idea.  I am sure two things just jumped out at you: my husband is a bit of a nerd, my children are doomed to nerdom as well.  Anyway, one of the things that echoed through my foggy, post-day brain, was that worship is God's revelation to us and our reciprocal response.  Now that I can grasp.  

I have always sensed that God reveals God's self through the rhythm of the seasons.  Just as God created each season to serve a purpose and taught God's people to care for the land, God created us to live into the rhythm of creation.  We must embrace our periods of rest as joyfully as those of productivity.  I find this very difficult because I find a great deal of satisfaction from productivity.  In fact, most of the time production overwhelms completion in my life, but let's talk about that later.  But, God has revealed the goodness of rest (Sabbath, Sabbath years, Jesus praying), and my response must be to joyfully rest.  

Now, if I can just keep Annabel off the kitchen table...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Days

Today was brought to you by two naps...count them, two.  A fantastic picnic at Pisgah National Forest with the whole family.  Finishing thank you's (major miracle).  Talking to my best friend.  And watching my family dance in the rain.  And now...collapse.  I want to knit, I am desperate to sew, I need to nest but instead I am sitting, staring.

Take a good look...this is probably the last picture of me you will see until I look less freakish.

Kinda silly, but super fun.  

This is a card I received at a baby shower on Sunday.  Going in my giggle box for sure...

Have a wonderful day...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Closing in

You know that moment that you realize that some long awaited event is practically upon you?  The time has come for me to stop planning what I want to do before this baby comes and just get rested up.  It is time to look my children in the face and tell them I love them.  It is time to make sure my nest is comfortable.  It is time to wash and fluff those beloved newborn items.  And yes, it is time to pack my bag.  

As I soak up these (obligatorily) slow days, I try to take moments (between shortness of breath, heartburn and general fatigue) to look around me and be where I am.  I listen when Annabel tells me, in our own language, that there is a tiny spider on her up-down (see-saw).  I pause to snap a picture when Laine does when every man does at some point in his life.  Wear underpants on his head.  

I pause to marvel at our chickens.  Laugh at the silly goats.  And say yes a little more than usual.  

Several people have asked how I manage everything.  The short answer is, I don't.  I have lots of help and I have lots of messes.  Really.  Please don't expect much if you drop in, but please do.

But, I have been learning some things.  I have been working on the laundry today, so I will start there.  First, one laundry basket per person.  Clean, folded clothes go in each person's basket.  This means you can find what is yours, put your stuff away, and if the kids are napping, I can put their clothes in a specific place.  Also, I fill up the washer every night and start it but leave the top open so it soaks all night.  In the morning I close the top, let it spin, and freshly washed clothes are ready for the dryer before breakfast is over.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Never just my project

Luke just walked down to put up the animals alone.  This makes me realize that I am so very pregnant.  It also drives home the truth of us.  In this life, I have chosen to become we, and sometimes that is hard.  It is hard to change and adjust for someone else.  There are moments that I want to be captain of my own ship, but most of the time, the moments when I really think about it, I am thrilled to be loved by and to love a man who is my partner in all I do.  A strong mind and a tender heart.  And oh so willing to put up with endless projects.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rainy day

Laundry day. Carrot-tomato soup thanks to Soule Mama. And a last minute romp in the rain. Not the smoothest day, but turns out we love each other and that is what counts!
Happy birthday, Mom.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Why is parenting a series of uncertainties wrapped in guilty doubt?  There are 7 billion people in the world, surely I am not the only person who has ever had a three year old.  How do any of us live through the age?  Why does the population not consist of only persons under three? 

Ok...deep breath. Jump back in...might need to invest in one of those books that details just how normal my kid is. 

Also, erasing all those slightly snippy thoughts I had about other people's three year olds.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

AND Then There's Me

Darryl Dayson At EUMC's VBS
Yesterday I excelled at being quintessentially me.  Our Duke summer intern at Etowah UMC, Darryl Dayson, married our unofficial Duke summer intern, Jessica Ligon.  They got married somewhere halfway between the other side of Charlotte and the end of the world.  It took about two and a half hours to get there in our "Adventure Van," but of course we had two three errands to run on the way.  It was a six o'clock outdoor wedding (which was exquisitely beautiful), so I had to feed the road-weary children and pregnant woman before the service started.

Are you starting to understand that this was going to be a busy day?  Well, apparently I didn't.  Because...

I decided that I really NEEDED to wear this dress I have been trying to finish.  AND Annabel should wear a dress that really was just about done.  AND Luke should have that new bow tie I have the fabric for.  AND Laine should have one to match.  "Sewing is fast.  I can get it done in no time."

Also, we should have a leisurely morning and not start applying ourselves until at least 11:00 am.

We were on time.  Annabel and I were wearing our new dresses.  Luke loves his new tie.  Poor Laine...danced like a madman in his sad, store-bought tie.  He is still jazzed up by the "princesses" and candy bar. we were dressing Annabel to leave, I realized, after spending a whole morning at home sewing, SHE WAS WEARING HER LAST CLEAN DIAPER...

Hence the three errands to run on the way.  How can you forget to wash the diapers?  Oh the joy of being me...crazy crazy me.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Terrible two give way to the magical threes.  That's what they said in my childhood development class.  Well, I am learning that text books are much easier to write than children are to raise.

There is nothing terrible about being two.  There is a whole lot of emotion, a whole lot a energy, a whole of charm and a whole lot of "time out."  My first child (of two first children) is an intense, bright and tender child.  Luke and I are struggling to help him learn how to manage himself and grow into a secure, loving, selfless person. I have learned to live by the feed it, rest it and run it model.  Laine can go from irrational meltdown to charming in one granola bar.  For twelve whole months I kinda understood this complex being.  

Now, we are entering a new phase.  Magical threes.  I love this age.  I frequently get assigned a character for the day, and am not allowed to deviate.  This morning Laine cryptically asked for the "crab thing."  Once I discovered that he was asking for my kitchen tongs, he spent the next hour giggling and chasing me around "getting" me.  I love that he gives concerts that are so passionate and extended that he gets blisters.  I love that he offers to start prayers at youth group (daddy's "kids").  I love that he lives fully and abundantly.

What I don't know/love/understand is the new aggression, need for control and struggle for self and space.  The poor child got a glimpse of college football last Saturday and I had to put him outside.  He about tore the house down.  I am praying daily for wisdom, patience and humor.  I am not sure what each new day will bring, but I do know that this great calling to parenthood is worth the incredible levels of confusion and uncertainty.  Sure, I miss the toddler, but I am so thrilled by the person that is appearing before my eyes that it is certainly worth it!

I just wish he would quit appearing before my eyes after bedtime...